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Terraforming Mars: Colonies» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Thoughts on a first play rss

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Frederick Duewer
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We just got Colonies in and fired up a 5 player game. It was awesome.

Many expansions feel tacked on. While we were playing, this felt like missing pieces had been put into place.

For the basic game, energy is, more or less, a requirement. For Colonies, it felt like a resource. Colony placement seemed balanced. As an aside, Poseidon definitely isn't weak.

Only problem is that the full game takes up a ton of space...

The colonies seem to be a net neutral in terms of play time. They all generate resources, so, with good play, the game should end in fewer generations.

They also seem to reduce card draw luck. Since the colony standard project is a decent investment, there is always something to spend on.

One downside is that player order can become a significant factor. This is already the case, as people passing along Jovians can be a game swinger already. Similarly, taking a turn after a competent player can cost a lot. Eg, for a given rotation, one guy got a free trip to a fully colonized Luna (3 energy -> ~14 MC) for 4 out of 5 generations.

Overall, it comes in neck and neck with Hellas and Elysium. Really a great expansion to a great game.

Hellas and Elysium - essential
Colonies - essential
Prelude - makes the game more fun
Venus Next - adds variety
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Rikard Johansson
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Agree with almost all conclusions. Haven't passed final verdict on it yet though. Good analysis!
 
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kaha preclo
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Did you play colonies with or without venus next? What did you do with all the floater cards in Colonies?
 
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Ron Lacer
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kahapreclo wrote:
Did you play colonies with or without venus next? What did you do with all the floater cards in Colonies?


I played a game of it last night without Venus and the player who had the floater based corp didn't manage to play many cards that helped him with his floaters. So I'm curious how people are going to feel about playing Colonies without the Venus expansion in the future. It kind of feels like you can do it, but a floater strategy would end up being unlikely to be fruitful.

When I first looked through the Colonies deck it felt like a floater strategy was being overly buffed. But with so many powerful synergistic strategies in the game, there's nothing wrong with adding another, imho. Now, all those new Jovian tags? That's got me a bit worried about an already powerful Jovian strategy is now going to be more over powered.
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John McComas
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Just played a 3p game with Colonies, Venus Next and Preludes yesterday and really loved it. We wrapped in 9 generations which is quicker than what I normally expect for a 3p game.

We had a player pursuing Jovian strategy with Credicor and the Floaters colony was in play. He definitely got great points value from it, but it didn't seem OP to us. I suspect that the draw deck now being 15% larger sort of nerfed the buff. We also played the draft variant which also contributed to overall balance.

We found that Colonies truly and profoundly increases player interaction and combo strength, and this really impressed us. Doubt I'll ever play without it, which I've now said about each major expansion. Jacob F is batting .1000!!!
 
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Frederick Duewer
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We played with Venus Next. You can model the game as fully blinged. Venus Next is good enough that I wouldn't ever take the time to unshuffle the decks... It does open new options and seems to make heat a bit better. (Previously, heat tended to be significantly over-produced.)
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Peter Bakija
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kahapreclo wrote:
Did you play colonies with or without venus next? What did you do with all the floater cards in Colonies?


You in no way need Venus Next to use the floaty cards in Colonies. The cards in Colonies that use or provide floaties are self contained and don't have anything to do with Venus Next.

Colonies. It is designed to work without Venus Next. But it meshes with Venus Next perfectly if you use them both.
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Peter Bakija
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rocksnrolls wrote:
So I'm curious how people are going to feel about playing Colonies without the Venus expansion in the future. It kind of feels like you can do it, but a floater strategy would end up being unlikely to be fruitful.


This is not really the case. There are plenty of cards in Colonies that have self contained floaty actions. There is a corporation that generates and uses floaties. If there are no other floaty generation cards in the game, it is till handy. If you have Titan in play (the floaty generation moon), it is even better. There are numerous cards in the set that make floaties to go on other cards that take floaties.

It works fine without Venus Next.
 
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Y P
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bakija wrote:
rocksnrolls wrote:
So I'm curious how people are going to feel about playing Colonies without the Venus expansion in the future. It kind of feels like you can do it, but a floater strategy would end up being unlikely to be fruitful.


This is not really the case. There are plenty of cards in Colonies that have self contained floaty actions. There is a corporation that generates and uses floaties. If there are no other floaty generation cards in the game, it is till handy. If you have Titan in play (the floaty generation moon), it is even better. There are numerous cards in the set that make floaties to go on other cards that take floaties.

It works fine without Venus Next.

You are straining really hard not to say "floater", aren't you? Loosen up and let it rip!
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Olivier Bazin
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We played all expansions together and just added this rule :

game ends when Water, Oxygen, Temperature AND VENUS requirements are ALL max !

It was really good !
 
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Peter Bakija
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MentatYP wrote:
You are straining really hard not to say "floater", aren't you? Loosen up and let it rip!


I've been on the cutting edge of "floaty" since way before it was cool.
 
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Frederick Duewer
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Thoughts on a second play: (4 players)
Poseidon, Arklight, Atmoscoop, and something dull.

Yup. Still awesome.

Moon availability changed things up. Luna wasn't in play and people got good cards - so Poseidon was a bit weaker. (Still got 10 MC production out of their ability...also lost.). No moons got to three colonies immediately, or ever.)

Arklight was ok.

One possible issue is that both Atmoscoop last time and Arklight this time, after preludes, started out with 2 Milestones in the bag.

Thus time, Arklight started out (well, if I hadn't gotten fancy and misread Luna Governor) with 10 MC production and 2 treehugger tags. Considering, Tardigrades was in hand...

And, well, 10 MC production and a plant production isn't a weak start anyways. This clearly isn't a Colonies problem, except that I think that the newer corporations allow for doubled starting milestones. (Jovian + lots of floater production) (animal + MC production). Compare with Ecoline, Saturn Systems, and Cheung...building company. Those all have one or the other or their bonuses don't benefit 2 Milestones simultaneously on any map. Admittedly, I think we got lucky, as those are the only 2 corporation/map combos I can come up with when in a Thanksgiving coma.

That player ended up with 3 milestones and victory.

Without an early blinged Luna in play, player order didn't seem as game-swingy, so maybe a niche issue.
 
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Arno
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Do you play with Corporate Era all the time with the other expansions ?
I tried Colonies with basic game (without Corp Era cards) and no other expansions and seems great.

I have a game tonight with 4 players.
Hallas, Basic, and Colonies. I am thinking about adding more or not.
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Frederick Duewer
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We play with literally everything. It works well. Venus can lead to single players with lots of blue cards - so - meh - I can see wanting to leave it out to avoid downtime for other players. But, eh, I like it.
 
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Dan Patriss
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fwduewer wrote:
We play with literally everything. It works well. Venus can lead to single players with lots of blue cards - so - meh - I can see wanting to leave it out to avoid downtime for other players. But, eh, I like it.


This is my feeling as well. Venus makes one or two players able to play the game have a tableau building fest and never terraform at all. It just feels bad in the grand scheme of things and can lead to 4 hour games with all the fiddle.

I say play with everything just leave out Venus next (IMHO)
 
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Frederick Duewer
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A rather memorable third play...

Polyphemos, Credicor, and Poseidon

Polyphemos started strong, claiming two milestones. It went downhill from there. Credicor started with 2 colonies on Luna and 1 on Pluto, along with spin-off project and then scienced into antigravity tech. A deep discount on space projects, combined with Pluto for the equivalent of 8-14 MC discount on space tags on an extra 7 cards drawn per generation. For reasons, Credicor traded with the 3 colony Luna for the entire game, giving an early bonus of 14 MC per round. The game ended with Credicor at over 200 points, nearly lapping second place. (~14 Jovians account for about half of that score.)

On one hand, blue cards on Credicor did slow the game, but they mostly weren't from Venus. On the other hand, the game was definitely memorable. On the third hand, how do people play Polyphemos successfully using drafting in 3 player?

 
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